Reid Park Zoo
On the 131-acre property of Reid Park in Tucson lies the 24-acre Reid Park Zoo, one of only five institutions in Arizona accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Walking the tree-shaded pathways of the park, guests can see several interesting animals while also learning about their conservation through education on the zoo’s species survival plans, or SSPs. An SSP is a program in which zoos worldwide participate that promotes the preservation of endangered and other threatened species through breeding programs. Currently, the Reid Park Zoo participates in many SSPs, including programs for the elephant, Giant anteater, giraffe, tamandua, Andean bear, Grevy’s Zebra, Baird’s Tapir, and Squirrel monkey. These programs are vital to efforts to pull endangered species back from the brink of extinction and are an essential part of any AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium’s conservation efforts. The zoo is home to over 300 animals, but some highlights include the African wild dogs, Giant anteater, flamingos, and, of course, giraffes and elephants.
Founded in 1965, Reid Park Zoo’s mission is “to create inspiring memories for all by connecting people and animals to ensure the protection of wild animals and wild places.” The zoo is currently expanding and improving its facility with its 10-year master plan, which includes three phases. With expected completion in 2023, the first phase will consist of several new Asia-themed animal exhibits such as red pandas, fishing cats, Malayan tigers, and Siamangs. The second phase will focus on African animals by adding a new event space, the Londolozi Safari Loge. The third phase will focus on improving the existing South American habitat, including the Andean bear and a unique gift and improved gift shop. The Reid Park Zoo’s annual benefit gala, ZOOcson, will be hosted on October 8 of this year and includes a live auction, cocktails, food from local restaurants, and live entertainment.
The zoo is fully accessible to those of different physical abilities and has many places to sit in the shade if guests want to rest and enjoy watching the animals in their enclosures.
As a participant in the Culture Pass, passes for the Reid Park Zoo are offered in every library branch in the program statewide. Additionally, as the zoo is entirely outdoors, it is highly recommended that guests wear a hat and sunglasses and bring water and sunscreen, no matter the time of year chosen to visit. Restrooms are located at the entrance to the park and a café for snacks and a gift shop if guests want to purchase a souvenir from their time at the park while also supporting the zoo. The Reid Park Zoo is currently open daily from 8 am to 2 pm and has ample shaded parking out front. For more information about Reid Park Zoo, please visit ReidParkZoo.org. As always, if you are interested in acquiring a Culture Pass for the zoo, visit one of the over 80 library branches statewide that offer the passes for checkout. A list of libraries at which passes are available is located at act1az.org/culture-pass.
Reid Park Zoo
3400 Zoo Court
Tucson, AZ 85716